Senior Day win secures Temple lacrosse conference tournament place

The Owls are guaranteed to play in the American Athletic Conference Tournament after defeating East Carolina 15-8 on Saturday at Howarth Field.

Temple University lacrosse attempts to defend a shot on goal from University of Florida senior midfielder Sydney Pirreca (right) during the Owls 15-8 loss against nationally ranked Gators on March 30 at Howarth Field. | DYLAN LONG / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University lacrosse final home game of the season was an eventful one.  

In their last home game of the season, Temple University women’s lacrosse (5-10, 2-2 American Athletic Conference) honored their four seniors prior to the game and clinched a spot in the first-ever American conference tournament by defeating East Carolina, 18-5, on Saturday at Howarth Field.

Temple recorded a top-4 finish in the conference’s inaugural year sponsoring lacrosse. The Owls will battle Vanderbilt University (10-4, 2-2 The American) on April 27 for the third spot in the conference standings.

Temple scored the first five goals against ECU, including two from both Maddie Gebert and Megan Hoffman. The two juniors finished the game with six combined goals.

Gebert ended the game with four goals and one assist. The attacker leads the Owls with 33 goals and 37 points this season. Hoffman has 15 goals this season, which is a career high for the midfielder.

Three other Temple players also scored at least two goals. The game’s last two goals were scored by freshman midfielder Lauren Zinkl, the first tallies of her career. Junior attacker and midfielder Olivia Thompson recorded four goals to bring her season total to 23.

Senior attacker Quinn Benintende scored twice with her family and friends, including younger brother J.P. who also plays college lacrosse, cheering her on from the sideline.

“We know that this game was super important to use being able to continue on with our season,” Benintende said. “So I think the energy of senior day …we were anxious for that one. And we worked really hard all week implementing different plays and strategies. So overall, a lot of hard work paid off to get the best result we could get.”

Freshman midfielder Wynston Archer also scored her first collegiate goal on a free position shot.

“I’ve been wanting this like the whole season,” Archer said. “So having it finally come to fruition is awesome.”

In the final 10 minutes, coach Bonnie Rosen decided to give every healthy player the chance to play with the score out of ECU’s reach.

“We took a commanding lead and that gave us the flexibility to let people, you know, have some room to see how people would do,” Rosen said. “All week we have watched our younger players, and a lot of our bench in general, get better and better.”

Senior midfielder and captain Amber Lambeth scored one goal and added one assist in her final home game at Temple. Lambeth won two draws to contribute to the Owls’ 16-8 draw control advantage against ECU.

Temple will finish its regular season against Vanderbilt in Nashville before the American Athletic Conference Tournament, held in Cincinnati, Ohio on May 2nd and 4th.

“A two or three seed would be a better opportunity, but we’ll take anyone,” Rosen said. “I don’t think I have a preference for [our Tournament opponent] but I’d like to see if we can advance our seed and get above the fourth seed.”

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